Archive for the ‘Forms’ Category


 

What Is A Bill Of Lading And What Is Its Purpose?

Bill Of Lading

What Is A Bill Of Lading And What Is Its Purpose?

A bill of lading is a receipt provided by the carrier to the consignee. The receipt contains a detailed list of all of the shipments goods.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will need to know exactly what is on your truck. To help make sure all of your goods are accounted for and declared, you must supply a bill of lading or pick up receipt when faxing your Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS) entry to your customs broker.

Why A Bill Of Lading Is Used

1. The main purpose of the standard straight bill of lading is it is a contract of carriage.

Other Bill Of Lading Purposes Include:

2. It may incorporate the full terms of the contract between the consignor and the carrier by reference.
3. It is a receipt signed by the carrier confirming whether goods matching the contract description have been received in good condition.
4. When completed in full, it helps the customs broker match up commercial clearance paperwork to ensure a complete declaration for all of the goods aboard the truck.

The carrier or the shipper can complete it, but the driver of the transport company is to sign and date the bill of lading once the goods are onboard their truck.

Why A Bill Of Lading Is Important

For Customs purposes the most important details on the bill of lading are:

  1. Piece count (total skids, boxes, pallets)
  2. Weight (total weight of the goods listed)
  3. Description of the goods
  4. Date (the date of pick up/export is used to establish the date for exchange rate)

If there is only one (1) location you have picked up goods from, then only one (1) bill of lading or pick up receipt is required. If you are picking up from multiple locations, then you need to have a bill of lading or pick up receipt for each location you have picked up from.

Commercial Documents

When picking up freight from the shipper, they may give commercial documents to you. If they do, please send your commercial documents to the customs broker with the bill of lading or pick up receipt. It is important that you send the customs broker all the documents you have. It helps ensure that all required documents are in place to declare those goods to Customs.

If the shipper does not supply you with commercial documents, please let the customs broker know as soon as you know, so they can work on getting the documents in order.

Other Documents

Often, a commercial invoice and bill of lading are sufficient for the customs broker and CBSA to process your load. There are many instances where special documentation will be required. Some examples of goods that need additional documents are:

  • CFIA regulated goods (fresh fruits & vegetables, fresh cut flowers)
  • Transport Canada regulated goods (vehicles) – which require another government agency (in addition to CBSA) to review the import

When faxing your PARS to the customs broker, simply affix your barcode label to the bill of lading. Make sure you are not covering up any important information. Be sure to clearly indicate which port you are crossing at and on what date and time. Please also include your phone number so that you can be contacted in the case there are any documentation issues.

Remember to ALWAYS confirm that your load has been set up before you get to the border.

Be accountable for the goods you are transporting and your cross border experience. Providing all the appropriate paperwork to your customs broker will truly ease your journey. If you need assistance with your bill of lading or any other customs brokerage or freight forward services, feel free to contact the experts at Pacific Customs Brokers for all of your international trade needs. 

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Single Window Initiative Requires Additional Data For Your IID

Single Window Initiative

{Updated 11/27/2018}

You have read What Is The Single Window Initiative (SWI) and learned how additional data will be required on Integrated Import Declarations (IID) for Customs release on all commodities regulated by Participating Government Agencies.

You will now need to include information on your customs documents to complete the IID, that may have been previously reported
after importation, or in paper format. We recommend you begin to include this information now, as SWI IID is available for use. This will become mandatory for certain PGA’s, by April 2019.

This means you will need to provide more information to your Customs Brokers than you have in the past for all commodities regulated by Participating Government Agencies (PGA) such as Health Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Is your commodity subject to Participating Government Agencies?

You can find out from our helpful What Does My Commodity Need? infographic.

What Regulated Commodities Will Be Affected By Single Window Initiative?

If your commodity is regulated by a Participating Government Agency you will be impacted by a Integrated Import Declarations. However, for some commodities the details have already been required for many years.

For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires all importers with commodities regulated by the CFIA to provide shipment details prior to entry releases. As a result, for goods regulated by the CFIA, you may not have to provide any additional data to your Customs Broker in order to clear these entries.

Cases where they would need information that they did not before IID’s include consignee contact information as well as requiring copies of documents such as import declarations. In cases where the consignee is different than the importers or manufacturers, you will need to include the consignee contact information in box 12 of your CCI.

All Participating Government Agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, will prompt your Customs Broker to ensure the documentation you provide includes all of the data required for the IID.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has provided a guideline indicating what data is required for each Participating Government Agency which you can check out in the links below. Please note that the information in these links is subject to change and is correct at the time of publishing.

Where Do I Report The Additional Data Elements On My Canada Customs Invoice?

If the products you import into Canada are regulated by any of these Participating Government Agencies, you will be required to add all of the data elements listed in the links above to your commercial or Canada Customs Invoice. Below are a few examples you can follow along to see how you can report the additional data elements.

Example 1: Consumer Product Safety, Regulated by Health Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for consumer Products regulated by Health Canada. Please note that although many of these elements are noted as optional, and only two as mandatory, you are recommended to include all elements in preparation of when/if the optional elements become mandatory, as well as to help Health Canada make a release decision.

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name at the Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore the information will be included on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Manufacturer Contact Information: The manufacturer’s name, address, contact name, email and telephone will be required in box 12 of the CCI. If this is the same as the vendor, you can add it to box 1 as shown in the example.
  • License, Permit, Certificate or Other (LPCO) Information: If your consumer goods require a license, permit, certificate or other type of document such as a safety standard certification or product label, in order to enter the country, you need to make this available to your Customs Broker. Your Customs Broker will attach the LPCO as an image file in the IID. If it is not a document, but rather a number, please place it in box 12 on the CCI along with an indication of what number it is.
  • Item Specific Information: This information provides the individual details of the imported items which are to be included in box 12 of the CCI which includes:
    • Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): This 14 digit number is used to identify products and services through a barcode. This is usually the UPC number.
    • Brand Name
    • Product Name
    • Manufacture Date
    • Batch/Lot Number
    • Unit Size and Unit of Measure
    • Intended End Use: Identify how the items will be used from one of the following options: Sale or distribution, education, resale, charitable, repair, immediate re-exportation.
    • Commodity Type: A Product Category must be listed. The category listed is dependant on the intended end use. Use the table below to identify the wording that should be listed in box 12.

Intended use

Product Category

For Sale of Distribution

Consumer product for infants (0-18 months)

Consumer product for infants (19 – 36 months)

Consumer product for infants (3-6 years)

Consumer product for infants (6-8 years)

Consumer product for infants (8-12 years)

Consumer product for infants (13+ years)

Consumer product for infants (all ages)

Consumer chemical

Cosmetic

Educational, resale, charitable, repair or immediate re-exportation

Consumer product (for all ages)


Using the information provided above for consumer products, and applying the example of stuffed toy animals, the Customs Invoice will require the additional data highlighted in the sample below.

Single Window Initiative - Consumer Goods

 

Example 2: Natural Health Products, Regulated by Health Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for natural health products regulated by Health Canada.

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name from the Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore your broker will include your information on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Informational Contact: This is someone who has knowledge of the items being imported in the case that Health Canada would like further information about the product. Name, telephone number and emails address is required. If this is the same as the vendor or consignee, then you can place this information in those boxes. However, if it is different, place this information in Box 12.
  • License, Permit, Certificate or Other (LPCO) Information: If your consumer goods require a license, permit, certificate or other type of document in order to enter the country, you need to make this available to your Customs Broker. They will attach it as a image file in the IID. If it is not a document, but rather a number, please place it in box 12 on the CCI along with an indication of what number it is. See the table below for more information.
  • Item Specific Information: This provides details of the imported items included in Box 12 of the CCI;
    • Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN): A 14 digit number used to identify products and services through a barcode. This is usually the UPC number.
    • Brand Name: If there is no brand name available, a product name, active ingredient or chemical name of the commodity must be provided by the manufacturer.
    • Product Name
    • Manufacture Date
    • Batch/Lot Number
    • Intended End Use: Identify how the items will be used from one of the following options: Human therapeutic use, human clinical trial, special access, research and development, other.
    • Commodity Type: A Product Category must be listed. The category listed is dependant on the intended end use. Use the table below to identify the wording that should be listed.

Intended End Use

Documents Required (LPCO)

Human Therapeutic Use

  1. Site License – 5022
  2. Natural Product Authorization 023 or Homeopathic Medicine Drug Identification 5024

Human Clinical Trial

NHP Notice of Authorization (NOA) 5023

Special Access

Letter of Authorization (LOA) 5045

Research and Development

No Documents Required

Other

No Documents Required


Using the information provided above for Natural Health Products, and applying the example of green tea extract, the Customs Invoice will require the additional data highlighted in the sample below.

Single Window Initiative - Natural Health Products

Example 3: Vehicles and Engines, Regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Transport Canada

Below is a summary of the additional data elements required for on-road vehicles, engines and equipment regulated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Transport Canada (TC). Please note there are two Participating Agencies involved in the importation of vehicles and engines.

**To understanding the info required by each PGA the data elements required from ECCC are in blue and Transport Canada are in red. All text appearing in black indicates that both of these agencies require this information.**

  • Importer’s Contact Information: This includes a contact name at Importer of Record company, telephone number and email address. In most cases, your Customs Broker will have this information as it will be their contact for your company on file. Therefore they will include that information on the IID and there would be no need for you to provide this on the CCI.
  • Informational Contact: This is someone who has knowledge of the items being imported in the case that ECCC would like further information about the vehicle or engine. Name, telephone number and emails address is required. If this is the same as the vendor or consignee, then you can place this information in those boxes. However if it is different, place this information in Box 12.

Exceptional Processing: The Transport Canada status of the of the vehicle/importer will establish all of the additional data elements required and must be provided or identified on the invoice using one of the following options:

  • Appendix F Pre-Cleared Importer (indicated on the invoice)
  • Appendix G Pre-Cleared Importer (indicated on the invoice)
  • Transport Canada Approved case-by-case approval for New, Canadian-specification vehicle purchased from foreign manufacturer with CMVSS approval letter
  • Transport Canada Approved case-by-case approval letter to accompany the documents for
    • New – Canadian-specification vehicles purchased from foreign manufacturer
    • New – Vehicles manufactured to the Federal Motor Vehicle Standards and purchased from foreign manufacturer
  •  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards manufactured vehicle requiring inspection by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (Indicated on the invoice)
  • Vehicles greater than 15 years old, except buses
  • Canadian-specification vehicles returning to the original owner
  • Vehicles Imported for parts
  • Non Regulated Vehicles: please visit Transport Canada’s site on no-regulated vehicles for more information

 

  • Make of Vehicle
  • Make of Engine
  • Model of Vehicle
  • Model of Engine
  • Model Year of Vehicle
  • Model Year of Engine
  • Engine Manufacturer Name
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): 17 digit number
  • Engine Identification Number
  • Name of Engine Family
  • Chassis Info: If the chassis is manufactured by someone other than the final stage assembler, the following details are required:
    • Manufacturer name and address
    • Make
    • Model
    • Year
  • Vehicle Production: Date, Month & Year
  • ECCC Vehicle Class:  The type of vehicle class must be identified using the options listed in the table below.
  • TC Vehicle Class: The type of vehicle class must be identified using the naming convention listed in the table below.

ECCC Vehicle Class

TC Vehicle Class

Light-Duty Vehicles

Light-Duty Vehicles

Light-Duty Trucks

Light-Duty Trucks

Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles

Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles

On-Road Motorcycles

On-Road Motorcycles

Heavy-Duty Class 2B Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Class 2B Vehicles w/inst

Heavy-Duty Class 3B Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Class 3B Vehicles w/ins

Heavy-Duty Vocational Vehicles with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Vocational Vehicles w/in

Heavy-Duty Tractors with Installed Engine

Heavy-Duty Tractors w/installed eng

Incomplete Vehicles

Incomplete Vehicles

 

Vessels with installed marine engine

 

Vessels without marine engines

 

Snowmobiles

 

All-terrain vehicles

 

Utility vehicles

 

Off-road motorcycles

 

Incomplete Vehicles


  • Engine Class: The type of engine class must be identified as either On Road Heavy-Duty Engine – Incomplete or On Road Heavy-Duty Engine – Loose
  • Vehicle Manufacturer: Name and address
  • Criteria Conformance: Advise that the compliance label is attached or provide a letter from the manufacturer that it is in compliance.
  • Final Stage Assembler: If different than chassis manufacturer or vehicle manufacturer: Name and address
  • TC Affirmation Statement of Compliance: This statement is made by the importer and confirms that the vehicle meets all import requirements of Transport Canada.

Please contact your Customs Broker for the specific information that needs to be listed in this statement.

  • ECCC Affirmation of Statement Compliance: This statement is made by the importer and confirms that the vehicle meets all import requirements of Environment and Climate Change Canada (additional date and form will be required by Transport Canada).

Please contact your Customs Broker for the specific information that needs to be listed in this statement.

  • Country of registration (If previously registered)
  • Mileage/Odometer Reading (if used)
  • Title Status (if used)
  • Vehicle Status (if for parts)
  • Vehicle Condition: Normal Damage or Severe Damage (Not Roadworthy)

Using the information provided above for Natural Health Products, and applying the example of a Ford F150 Truck, the Customs Invoice will require the the additional data highlighted in this example.

Single Window Initiative - Vehicles

These examples highlight some of the data elements that were not necessarily included on your invoice prior to the Single Window Initiative, but will be mandatory starting April 2019.

You will need to provide all of the required data elements for your Customs Broker to be able to process your shipment release request. Additional charges may be applied to your Customs brokerage services if this information is not provided on the documentation.

When Should I Start Including The Required Data On My IID?

You should begin incorporating this information into your invoices now, then your shipments are not delayed at the border once IIDs become mandatory.

Need help understanding what Participating Government Agency regulates your commodity? You can contact us and speak with an expert Trade Advisor today.

How will you be affected by the Single Window Initiative? Tell us in the comments below.

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U.S. Customs To Pilot Test Blockchain Viability

blockchain

In September 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will start pilot testing the viability of blockchain technology in international trade. One of the first tests will be to see if they can successfully receive Certifications of Origin to identify if a product can qualify for preferential treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain allows for digital information to be shared but not copied. It was originally created for financial transactions however, tech communities are starting to get more creative on what it can be used for. This includes smart contracts, transparent voting for elections, file storage, and in the world of trade, supply chain auditing.

Blockchain acts as a large database spread over a network of many, many computers. By not storing the data in any one location decentralizes the data. By decentralizing the data, it makes it difficult for a “hacker” to corrupt, thus making it a safe way for many people to access the data simultaneously.

Another interesting fact about blockchain is it can be setup to share with the entire public, or only shared with a few selected individuals. This allows for it to be used on massive scales, such as an election, or small scales, such as a one-on-one contract between you and a supplier.

History is another important factor. Blockchain has the ability to collect and maintain all transactions and previous data. In the trade industry this could be vital since records are required to be kept by Customs for multiple years in case of an audit. With a clear history that is accessible at any time, it can make it easier on Customs and the individual or business being audited.

What is Your Commodities Origin?

The goal is to certify the backstories of commodities are genuine. Is your sweater really made in Canada? Is every part from your laptop obtained or produced entirely in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico? Probably not, however with the assistance of blockchain technology and supply chain auditing, the answer could be quick and easy for CBP to discover.

Why This Potentially Helps U.S. Customs?

The reason CBP is excited for the viability of blockchain technology is because it can permanently verify transaction records in a fast and secure way. Being able to work fast and safe is any businesses dream, and CBP wants to start testing the technology in the early stages to make sure they are ready to handle the demand for blockchain technology once more companies adopt the relatively new idea.

How Supply Chain Auditing Can Help You?

It is easy to drown in the science behind blockchain technology, but what matters most to you is blockchain can allow you to do business easier and safer than before. The introduction of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has eliminated the need for faxing, mailing or hand delivering paper documents. By having a safe way to transport the same “paper documents” digitally in only a way where you, the sender, and CBP, the receiver, can access it, than business will become better for you.

If You Need An Expert

With pilot testing to begin in September it will be interesting to see what the findings are from CBP. This might be the first step U.S. Customs takes to adopting blockchain technology and electronic supply chain auditing. For the latest in trade news and expert advice feel free to contact an experienced trade advisor to help you navigate the world of trade.

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Why Do I Need an IRS Number When Importing Into the U.S.?

{This post was last updated on August 9, 2017}

You have made your sale, shipped the goods to the U.S. buyer, and the shipment is on its way to the border. And then, without warning, the goods get stopped at the port of entry, and the customs broker for this shipment requests an IRS number. At this point, you are likely wondering what an IRS number is and why it’s needed. To help you understand, let’s dive into this scenario a little deeper.

What is Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Tax Number and Why is it Required?

First off, all goods entering the U.S. from overseas are considered Imports and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must approve all Imports for entry. CBP requires documentation which includes shipment details such as the identification of the Ultimate Consignee. An Ultimate Consignee is a person, party, or designee that is located in the U.S. and will receive the shipment (which is usually the buyer of the goods). An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) number, is used by CBP to identify the Ultimate Consignee.

There are two types of IRS numbers:

  1. Employer Identification Number (EIN): Issued to business entities
  2. Social Security Number (SSN): Issued to individuals

 

Without an IRS number, CBP does not know who the Ultimate Consignee is and therefore will not accept the shipment into the U.S.

U.S. Customs states the following.

 

(Source: CUSTOMS DIRECTIVE NO. 3550-079A )

 

Will One IRS Number Cover a Host of Different Goods Sold to One Consignee?

The IRS/EIN or SSN is specific to the Ultimate Consignee as the IRS issues these numbers directly to the company or individual. Therefore, if someone in the U.S. buys a host of products from you, you would declare the IRS number for that buyer on the entry declaration to U.S. Customs.

If you have more than one buyer, then it is best to make a declaration per transaction and declare the IRS number for each buyer in each transaction.

My Shipment DID Have an IRS Number. Why Was it Stopped?

If you run into this scenario, and your import documentation included an IRS number, it could be for one of two reasons. First, the Ultimate Consignee of the shipment had never purchased goods from a foreign party and therefore is not in U.S. Customs database.

Another likely culprit for this delay could be a deactivated account. Deactivation happens when more than a year has passed since the Ultimate Consignee last received an import.  

If the IRS number is not on file or has been deactivated by U.S. Customs, then it will need to be added to their database by filing a Customs Form 5106.

What is a Customs Form 5106?

A Customs Form 5106 is used by U.S. Customs to input the name, physical address, and IRS number of the Ultimate Consignee into their database.  The Customs Form 5106 must be on file for all consignees at the time of entry.

Is a 5106 Required for Every Shipment I Send to the U.S.?

U.S. Customs states that “An importer identification number shall remain on file until one year from the date on which it is last used on Customs Form 7501 or request for services.” This means that as long as the Ultimate Consignee continues to receive goods on a regular basis, this form will only have to be completed once.  If their 5106 importer record is not used for over a year, then they will have to reactivate their number.

How Can I Determine if the U.S. has a Customs Form 5106 on File for the Consignee/Buyer?

Your customs broker can query the Ultimate Consignee information with U.S. Customs and advise you if they have an active 5106 on file.   This is a simple, and proactive step that can save you a lot of hassle.

How Do I File a Customs Form 5106?

If a 5106 is not on file,  you need not worry as your customs broker can supply you with one. You can then ask your buyer to fill it out. One you have received it back from your buyer, you can provide it to your custom broker, who will then submit it to Customs. CBP will then add it to their database.

In summary, if you are selling to U.S. buyers from outside of the U.S. and you are responsible for declaring the goods at the port of entry, you must ensure your buyer has an IRS number. If they do not, work with your customs broker to get one. We are here to help!

 

 

What to learn more about importing into the U.S.?

Get a comprehensive understanding of the process involved with our webinar on U.S. Importing for Beginners [Part 1] (just so you know…it’s free!). Take your learning a step further by attending the U.S. Importing for Beginners [Part 2] webinar and delve into the details previously touched upon in part one of the series.

 

Do you have questions or comments regarding importing to the U.S.? Please leave them in our comments section below and I will be happy to provide an answer.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Designation Maintenance Begins with our Professional Development Courses

Image: Seminar Room

 

Your Professional Development starts with Pacific Customs Brokers! If you have never attended one of our Professional Development Courses, the following information might help you decide on attending the next one.

Professional Development Courses – Seminars and Workshops

At our in-person courses you learn the best practices of being a compliant importer and/or exporter which will help you expedite your commercial shipments to and avoiding costly delay triggers. Our experts share their knowledge and stories on international and cross-border shipping regulations to keep you current with customs and partner government agency requirements.  Benefits of attending an in-person seminar or workshop include:

  • All day access – Get our experts to answer your questions one-on-one
  • Case studies and real-life examples – Examine other attendees’ trade compliance hurdles
  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards
  • Range of topics – Choose from a wide variety of topics
  • Certificate of Completion – Receive a certificate for each course you attend
  • Handouts – Take home your own set of course material
  • Industry accreditation – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations
  • Networking – Connect with other like-minded professionals

Professional Development Courses – On-Demand *COMING SOON*

Our on-demand library is designed to meet the demands of the global trade community. These sessions are a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade and gain additional knowledge in key areas. Benefits of attending an on-demand course include:

  • Global accessibility – Travel is removed from the equation for companies with multiple locations or branches
  • Convenience – Attend from the comfort of your desk or home at any time that is best for you
  • Concise training – In a fast-paced industry, efficiency becomes just as important as staying compliant, watch in parts or “binge” on the full course
  • Industry accreditation – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations

 

Taking any of our courses may earn you maintenance points, credits, and hours towards a variety of professional designations. Some examples of eligible designations are:

  • Certified Customs Specialist (CCS)
  • Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS)
  • Certified Export Specialist (CES)
  • Designate with the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC)
  • Accounting Professional

Registration for Fall 2018 is now open!

Review and plan your professional development maintenance for the second half of 2018 by clicking on the hyperlinked course names below. 

  CSCB NEI LSBC
Course Name CCS CTCS CCS CES  
How To Import Into Canada Part 1 5 5
How To Import Into Canada Part 2 5 5 3
How To Import Into Canada (Series) 5 5 3
How To Classify A Product 5 6 4
How To Import Into The US Part 1 5 5 3
How To Import Into The US Part 2 5 5 3 3
How To Import Into The US (Series) 5 5 3
How To Value A Product For Customs 5 5
*How To Choose The Best Incoterm 5 3 3
*How To Import CFIA Regulated Goods 5 5
*How To Import FDA Regulated Goods 5 5 3

 

*Registration for spring 2019 courses coming soon.

 

 

Have questions or comments about any of our courses? Call 888.538.1566 or email us today!